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Is the end near for older long-term teachers in Hanoi?

 
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just noel



Joined: 17 Jul 2006
Posts: 167

PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:14 am    Post subject: Is the end near for older long-term teachers in Hanoi? Reply with quote

I've taught in Hanoi for a long time in a couple of different locations. Recently I hit the (five-o) 50 age.

Obviously, the EFL market has been growing and expanding and continues to do so.

I've noticed in the last two years and moreso in this last year that what happened in other countries seems to be happening in Vietnam and in Hanoi in particular.

More and more people are coming to Hanoi to teach. Yes, people come and go for the common reasons but a certain percentage of these arrivals will stay long term. Meaning 3-4-5 years or more.

Some have some experience, other are just starting out. Most are in their early and mid-twenties.

The YL and childrens' market will always be there.

For older long term teachers, those who cannot and do not teach children,

Is teaching IELTS the last stop?

Is teaching at one big school that pays a higher salary (RES) the last stop on the road?

If one does not or cannot teach at this big school then they will be chasing part-time work at 3 or 4 places.

The IELTS market will evolve and RES school will go through market changes and its life cycle.

RES is expanding into a kids school. Fair enough, the market demand decides.

For those of us that have taught here for many years, that are over 50, is this our last stop on the EFL road?
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BenE



Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Posts: 321

PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You've got a point there are more teachers coming and centers are becoming picky about the kind of teacher they want.

If you've got a wide range of experience, there's more jobs coming up that don't just need teachers. (curriculum development, conducting exams, management etc.)
I think if you just want to teach it's gonna get harder. Young teachers will always have more energy to do the edutainment that students demand to some extent but experience counts with the niche jobs. Like you said though doing these will mean jumping from one part time place to another.
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sigmoid



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 1217

PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, it would seem that there are a number of factors are at play here.

1) HN has never been a huge market. There are fewer schools than in SGN. The ones that are there are smaller in terms of bldg size, no. of branches, class sizes, etc. In the past, there has always been room for new teachers in spite of this because HN is not a popular place to live.

2) VN is now really the 'flavor of the month" (or year). Every day there are articles in the news about teaching and traveling in VN.

Stuff like this: "Why you need to add Vietnam to your bucket list"

http://metro.co.uk/2017/04/11/why-you-need-to-add-vietnam-to-your-bucket-list-6565087/#ixzz4e0JsKZNr

3) The political, social and economic situation in the West is creating a lot of people who want to be expats in Asia and elsewhere. Teaching English is well-known as a way to do this, at least at the beginning.

Anyway, not sure if it's age so much as it is experience and knowledge. Most schools want fresh meat, not some guy that's been here a decade and knows everything.

If you're in a position where you're not getting enough 'hours', then basically you have 2 choices:

1) Diversify. Find other ways to make money so you are not dependent upon the schools

2) Relocate: The EFL industry is still expanding in VN but mostly in smaller provincial cities. For obvious reasons, small language centers in places like Vinh, Dalat, Ba Ria, etc. have difficulty attracting teachers.

Otherwise, you need to look at other countries (the usual suspects).
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DauntlessinDanang



Joined: 07 Feb 2017
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing to consider is the growing online teaching market, which allows teachers of all ages to live and work in Asia wherever their incomes and finances allow them.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1x8pQBHw82xOzPun2oOkHVKVDrDrl58oiIQyBU4tGcI4/edit#gid=1132710928

http://www.goodairlanguage.com/teaching-english-online-2/

Age is just a number, brother. If we plan well for our semi-retirement years (55-65), we can actually take advantage of our maturity by being good enough at our jobs to find all the satisfying work we need to survive and even thrive despite our age. For me, 30 million a month is all the coin it takes to be a happy camper here.

And no need to sell out, either. As long as you're smart and good at what you do, you can pretty much set up your own schedule and be your own boss, leaving the Romper Room babysitting and corporate climbing to the lads and lassies young and old alike playing monkey see, monkey do in the chain-school games.
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max10



Joined: 27 Sep 2016
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gee thanks for the online list Danang- could you publish a list of schools too? Can't help out the backpackers enough. Nothing like killing the market. Let them do it themselves just like the old-timers had to do.
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RustyShackleford



Joined: 13 May 2013
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The cowboys (if not cowgirls) are slowly getting squeezed out of Vietnam anyways, economically if not employment-wise. In any case, most of the schools on that list seem to be in China and the wages on that Vietnam job are an utter joke - $8.5/hr ?! Might as well stay home and work serving cocktails and steaks. Guaranteed to make more that way.
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DauntlessinDanang



Joined: 07 Feb 2017
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not all of us are getting the squeeze. In fact, some of us are buying land and building retirement homes near the beautiful beaches of Danang and Hoi An. It's all so much a matter of perspective: somewhere along the way we choose either love or fear, and in the end that's the one choice that defines who we are and what we become. So I'll gladly be the old, gray-haired fat dude who likes being good at what he does, enjoys going out of his way to help others, and is more than happy to leave the cocktail and steak serving to the younger generation.
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Prof.Gringo



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 2218
Location: Dang Cong San Viet Nam Quang Vinh Muon Nam!

PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RustyShackleford wrote:
The cowboys (if not cowgirls) are slowly getting squeezed out of Vietnam anyways, economically if not employment-wise. In any case, most of the schools on that list seem to be in China and the wages on that Vietnam job are an utter joke - $8.5/hr ?! Might as well stay home and work serving cocktails and steaks. Guaranteed to make more that way.


$8.50 USD an hour to teach in VN??? ROFL Very Happy
A good waiter can make better money just on tips alone in the USA!

It does seem the employers are trying to push wages down and if the influx of newbies continues they might well be able to do so, at least for many of the lower-end chain schools. I am already seeing a lot of ads that basically state 100 hours for about $1,200 a month or right around there. So the new wages for these schools seem to be around 12 bucks an hour. Of course those are the schools that hire any white-face (often non-native English speakers) and think an online TEFL is just as good or better than a CELTA.

Side-note: I saw one of these low paid jobs the other day and decided to troll the advert poster. VNese woman who said she was the school owner answered the phone. I asked about qualifications. She said white skin was the most important thing. Also a TESOL or TEFL was needed... I asked her if a CELTA or an online TESOL was better and she said the TESOL was much better. Told her my real opinion of her job and school. Hung up on her in mid-sentence when she tried to reply. Twisted Evil
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Mattingly



Joined: 03 Jul 2008
Posts: 227

PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As for the "50" mark, some schools in Hanoi are not hiring people in their 50s in the 60s as much as they used to. I know this for a fact.

As we know, looks are important and if you look energetic, adaptable and you're teaching is good you will have work.

I would recommend dying your hair if you have lots of gray.

Many (I'm not saying all) teachers over 50 *who have been teaching for many years* are often considered less enthusiastic, less adaptable, and tend to complain more.

To sum it up: they don't like teaching anymore but they never planned ahead or thought about the situation they've gotten themselves into.

Many parents of study abroad students and the students themselves don't want long time expat teachers who's been outside of their home country for many years. They're disconnected.

As for the recent influx into Hanoi by those in their 20s, this is IMO, all about supply and demand.

The supply is increasing.

There is, and will continue to be, downward pressure on wages.
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